All About Katzenbalger
I got RE Revelations the other week and i've been enjoying it. It did take me a while to get into the campaign, getting used to the controls and mechanics (though dodging still confuses me), but once i got to chapter 3 everything clicked and now i'm really into it. I really like the bizarro monster designs and the atmosphere of the ship. The game is surprisingly creepy, especially with the sound up.
Raid mode is great, a sort of arcade-styled battle through individual levels, where you level up and buy new weapons and upgrades. It's suprisingly addictive.
I have noticed something though, something that seems really out of place in a RE game. Zombie boobs. Really big ones.
It's hard to be freaked out when the flesh eating monster stalking you has giant breasts and is dressed like a DOA character. It just feels weird. As a big RE fan i've gotta say that there's never been anything as ridiculous as this in the series before (and if there was it never left an impression on me).
The other female characters aren't dressed any better. Jessica's outfit in particular is confusing.
Note the high heels and bare leg. This is what she wears on zombie-hunting missions.
I've also noticed this sort of blog post is starting to become a trend for me. This is the sort of thing i notice now. And with this i realise i might have a problem.
So the Fuse demo is out, and it feels an awful lot like Gears. It's a squad-based third person cover shooter that supports 4-player co-op (but can completely be played solo) from Insomniac games. The demo gives you maybe fifteen minutes of gameplay, showing off a moderately large firefight, a miniboss fight and smaller sections of moving from A to B while characters talk about plot details you can't understand because it's a demo and it doesn't explain anything to you.
If I seem extra bitchy, it's not the games fault, I'm just feeling a bit off. And actually, yes, the game is slightly at fault because the demo hasn't given me the best impression. It just seems so...uninspired? Generic is a harsh word, but there are so many games like this that it's ridiculous.
Gameplay is standard third person shooter stuff. You've played this before. It feels like Gears of War but with less refined cover mechanics and visuals that owe more to Vanquish. And there are squad mechanics of the superficial kind. You don't seem to be able to command your teammates at all. Instead (if playing offline), at any time you can switch between them. Switching lets you use each character's special weapon. From the demo that seems to be the only difference between playing as the different (boring) characters.
Soldier McGenericface has a pistol that puts up a reflective shield, Token Blackguy has an exploding crossbow, Redhead Sassypants has a machinegun that freezes people and Scowlface Gogglehead's rifle shoots black holes. Compared to the insanity of the arsenals in Ratchet and Clank and Resistance, these weapons seem a bit plain (crossbow in particular). Still they were fun to use. Other than their signature weapon, each character gets a primary and sidearm. These are your basic pistols, machine guns and rifles (but with futuristic sheens!) so they fire the same as any other gun in any other game.
The friendly AI in the demo is dumb. Teammates shoot into pillars, stand around taking damage or run off into the distance. When I got downed, I was crawling at the feet of a friendly AI who refused to acknowledge me (something I'm used to from Gears). They also walk in perfect single file when heading to mission objectives, creating a creepy conga line. In particular, Soldier McGenericface and his magical shieldgun is a total write-off. The AI will stand in position with his shield, never bothering to advance, just protecting whatever piece of land he's currently standing on. He will use his shield directly into pillars or walls, protecting nothing.
One thing I really didn't like? Random Uncharted-styled climbing mechanics! At some points you have to climb cliff edges or pipes. It feels clunky, slow and out of place. It also feels forced.
Still, it's just a demo. Maybe they'll tighten things up and improve them (though this close to release I highly doubt it). As it stands it doesn't really seem to have much going on. I've played too many third person cover shooters this gen. I've had ups and downs, surprises and disappointments. While we sometimes get something great like Spec Ops or Binary Domain, other times we get something like Inversion.
I'm really hoping Fuse isn't going to be another Inversion.
I ended up going to the movies a lot last week.
I saw Evil Dead and it was glorious. It exceeded my expectations, and was both a genuinely good movie and a great remake. Five people head to a cabin in the woods the help one of their number, Mia, overcome her heroin addiction. They make a gruesome discovery in the basement, mess around with an occult book and a demonic presence is unleashed into the forest, intent on claiming their souls. The drug addict thing was a great addition actually, and the characters were mostly well rounded (bar one, the blonde who barely has any lines). Also the characters (mostly) act intelligently in the situation, with only one exception (the blonde again).
It's gloriously gruesome, and most of the effects are practical, making them even better. I also loved how great the cinematography and sound design was. A lot of horror movies (especially remakes) miss this part of the filmmaking process, but Evil Dead nails it (it looks and feels creepy as hell from start to finish). The best thing was it took the core concept from the original and did its own spin on things. It brings new ideas and concepts into the mix, and does them well. While there were a few references to the original (mostly visual nods) it forges its own identity, and i loved that.
I also saw Star Trek Into Darkness. Or, as it should be called, 'Attack of the lens flare!'. Seriously, every interior scene has light shining directly into the freaking camera. Some action scenes seem designed to cause epilepsy.
Complaints aside, it was an entertaining popcorn flick. Big, fun, dumb. A bit longwinded and tedious at times, but it's still an entertaining flick. I was disappointed by how Benedict Cumberbatch played the villain though. I like him as an actor in other things he's done (he's a great Sherlocl), but here? While he's cool in action scenes he's so over the top and ridiculous whenever he opens his mouth to unleash one of his monologues that i just couldn't take him seriously. He doesn't just chew the scenery, he digests it and comes back for more. Actually monologues is a big thing in this one, everybody gives a prolonged speech about what they're doing or something that happened that it gets a bit annoying.
Spring Breakers is a film i went and saw with a buddy, whose sole motivation was that he saw James Franco as a white rapper wannabe gansgter in the trailer when we went to see Evil Dead and decided that was someting he was interested in seeing. It's ok. A somewhat trippy bizarro film that constantly assaults you with garish colours. Four college gal pals are determined to go down to Spring Break, which they see as some sort of life-affirming, spiritual rite of passage for their drag and dreary college lives. To gain the funds they rob a fast-food store. Heading to the 'promised land; they party like crazy until they get arrested, and are bailed out by a ridiculous gangster named Alien (James Franco). Then things get a little darker and a bit sillier. The entire first half is a non-stop montage of breasts, booze, drugs, dancing, dubstep, rainbow colours and partying. Once they meet James Franco, things slow down and go in a different direction and an element of danger is added.
To be honest i just got a bit tired by it. The editing involved a lot of repetition (entire monologues and chains of dialogue are repeated a few times over for some kind of dramatic effect). The characters (with the exception of Alien, who could hold his own comedy film) were horrible, unlikeable people with no redeeming qualities (two come across as total psychopaths). The film never really goes anywhere, there's no real goal or point and the ending is just weak. But maybe that was the point? If it was i wasn't getting the vibe.
Game sales and my weak will collided with unfavourable results on my side.
Lair is like Rogue Squadron but with dragons and terrible controls. That's the best description that i can give. It makes sense, both games were made by the same dev, but while Rogue Squadron was an excellent Star Wars game, Lair is just awful. Why? One word. Sixaxis.
On release, the entire game was controlled with Sixaxis. You had to fly your giant dragon warrior by tilting the entire controller. I've tried it, and it's the worst. You can't control it with any real accuracy. They patched it and added analogue controls, making the game playable. Playable, but still not good.
Even with the patch, it doesn't control very well. It's difficult to turn around, the lock-on system is atrocious, the camera is terrible and control is stolen from you constantly whenever anything major happens. It's also exceptionally hard to discern between enemies and friendlies because all the dragons look the same. There's no radar so you can't see where you're going or where you enemies are. It's hard to control and feels slow, but most missions have incredibly delicate, time-sensitive objectives. The game also doesn't teach you anything about how to play. Even worse, you still need to use Sixaxis to do key, objective-specific things (mostly throttling the controller to knock things down).
It's still playable, and you can see the potential that was there (it could have been really fun if everything as better) but i can see why it was hated so much on release.
Risen 2 is that rough sort of game that, despite its obvious flaws and seeming contempt for me, i can;t help but be intruiged with. The game is brutally unfair, doesn't teach you anything and dumps you clotheless, penniless and clueless on an island. I;ve been feeling tings out, trying to figure out how to play, what to do, and despite failing a lot (Jaguars are bastards) i've slowly been progressing. Still early days, still have no abilities (you need to pay a fortune to learn basic combat skills). But i'm getting there.
What's it about? Pirates and cthulhu i guess. You're a hero guy who gets sent ti infiltrate a group of pirates so you can find a magical weapon to kill off the Kraken that's turned up to ruin everybody's day. There's also ugly fish people to contend with, voodoo and rum shortages.
Persona 4 Arena but i haven't played much of it yet. Too much going on, with all the other games and stuff. I've only used messed around with six of the characters, but Kanji seems an early favourite.
One thing though, it's making me resolve to finish Persona 4. I stopped playing it early on a year ago (i was up to Shadow Kanji) and just never got back into it. The longer i waited, the harder it was. Now i know i just need to boot up the PS2, say goodbye to a month of my time and get back to it.
Metro Last Light was an impulse buy today. I have 2033 on PC, but it kept freaking crashing on me so i gave up (despite liking what i managed to play). Last Light assumes you finished 2033, which means i had little idea of what was going on at the beginning.
Last Light is a gorgeous game with a great sense of immersion in its world. I haven't played much, but it currently feels as though i'm being ferried through corridors from one small area to the next, with 'levels' lasting no more than ten minutes each. Otherwise the gameplay seems solid, with good stealth mechanics and solid gunplay.
I got the 'Ranger' edition, which came with the DLC Ranger mode (basically hard mode) as well as the book, Metro 2033. I didn;t even realise the game was based on a book (a similar situation to the Witcher, only Metro 2033's writer collaborated in making the game). The book can go proudly with the dozens of others i need to read (my gaming queue pales in comparison to my reading one).
My Recent Reviews
Some people just don't have opinions. Like Katzenbalger.
May 25, 2013 7:32 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Revelations of the creepily sexy kind
May 23, 2013 4:50 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Gears of Resistance?
May 15, 2013 7:14 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Movies and Games update
May 6, 2013 3:52 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled May Update
Apr 26, 2013 4:09 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled The whole Dragon's Crown nonsense
Apr 22, 2013 3:47 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Dragon's Dogma: Tips for beginners
Apr 15, 2013 4:05 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Update! Comics! Games! Etc!
Mar 30, 2013 3:11 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled My reaction to the Bioshock Infinite ending (don't worry, no spoilers)
Mar 21, 2013 4:20 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled Sofia: Gears of War Judgment's Greatest Ass-et
Mar 18, 2013 4:08 pm GMTKatzenbalger posted a new blog entry entitled God of War Ascension thoughts and some recent DLCs